Jimmy Carter Chases Air Force One Down TarmacReally, really wanted to go to Pope's funeral; Bush refuses to turn around
Washington--NBC News is reporting that foreign policy dissention between presidents is what kept former president Jimmy Carter from catching Air Force One on the tarmac, as it began to taxi down the runway on its way to Rome.
"This is so like Bush," said one bystander. "We even saw the plane slow down and lower the step ladder, and just as Mr. Carter got to the fuselage, they gunned it and were airborne in seconds. I wanted to cry for him."
Carter says that Bush told him he "better be dressed in time to leave," or he wasn't going. "I was just getting my shoes on when they pulled out and left me," he said.
The NBC News report implies that the stark differences in foreign policy may have played a role in why the plane left with Carter waving his Bruno Magli's at a dissipating cloud of Jet contrails.
Carter's absence from the Pontiff's funeral is a dubious one as Carter was President when Pope John Paul II came into power, and also hosted the Pope at the Whitehouse in a landmark, ceremonial event. Carter was also the first president to show practical application of repentance in office when he admitted that he had "lusted in his heart" and the first to employ a preemptive, first-strike option against a vicious, marauding rabbit.
Still, Carter downplays anything overtly political in his being left stateside, and in traditional diplomatic form, noted that the Pope will "most likely not be offended" by his absence.
Bush administration officials declined to comment.